LONDON: WPP Group announced 2007 revenue of approximately $12.4 billion, up 13.6% from the previous year. Operating profit totaled approximately $1.6 billion, up 8.5%.
Public relations and public affairs accounted for 10.5% of total revenue and saw like-for-like growth in revenue of 8.2%. Profits rose 20%. Hill & Knowlton, Burson-Marsteller, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Public Strategies, and the UK firms Finsbury and Clarion were cited by WPP as posting “particularly strong” results.
Branding, identity, healthcare and other specialist communications, which accounted for 28.7% of total revenue, rose 6.1%. Advertising and media management accounted for the bulk of revenue, at 46.2% of the 2007 total, with revenue up 4.5%.
Public relations has been the fastest growing portion of WPP's business, said chairman Sir Martin Sorrell in a conference call announcing the results. Sorrell said he did not expect a slowdown or recession in the US economy to significantly affect WPP's overall business, in part because of large deals signed in 2007 with clients such as AT&T and Dell.
“We're expecting that 2008 will be a better year because of the football championships, the Olympics, and the presidential election,” Sorrell said. “Global growth most forecasters are predicting around 4%. I think what's clear from forecasts is that … the US market will slow at least and other markets will continue to grow faster, but not much faster as they were before.”